The Seven Functions of the Self-Published Author
So you are, or want to be, a self-published author?
Like many, you may have gone into it with the notion that it was just a case of writing a book and doing a bit of promotion on social media. Soon, sales would roll in and you could concentrate on your next book. You wouldn’t be alone in having such a notion, nor could you be blamed — it sounds like a good plan.
But here’s what happens.
In any business, any enterprise, any operation that any human being does on the planet, there are seven distinct steps, factors, functions, or tasks which need to be overseen and done if the thing is to succeed. Sometimes these tasks are so short and focused that they occur without thought; more often, they are simply overlooked and not done, resulting in the collapse, total or partial, of whatever it is that is being attempted.
What are these seven factors?
Well, as far as writers are concerned, they appear in the above diagram:
Planning — obviously vital and must be continuous if the writer is to make his or her dreams come true.
Management — this includes things like time management, production lines, measuring production and keeping oneself on track at all times.
Marketing — this is to do with finding an audience and using a set of tools to attract that audience to the book or books being written until they get close enough to buy it/them.
Finances — you need money to survive, and this includes making sure that you are funded in some way if or until such time as your writing yields a viable amount of cash — which may be longer than you think.
Writing — naturally, one of these factors is the production itself, the steady, consistent and vital production of page after page of writing which adds up to a book, and then another book and so on.
Editing — built into all this is a quality step, the point at which the raw material produced in the writing phase is measured, tested, altered and made to match its audiences’ requirements, which includes basic accuracy of language through proofreading.
Distribution — the final stage of not only getting the physical or electronic book into the hands of the reader but the ideas and images into the reader’s mind and heart.
Successful distribution marks the point at which the dream which took shape in the Planning stage becomes reality.
We’ll be looking closely at these factors — and examining in detail what can go wrong with them — in future articles. But for now, take a look over the diagram above and see which bits you are doing effectively, and which bits might need addressing.